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Fitness & Health

31st Aug 2017

This new app can help diagnose cancer using just a selfie

Rory Cashin

Getting checked is about to get a whole lot easier.

As technology available on your smart phone continues to improve on a seemingly daily basis, one of the greatest developments is just how useful your mobile device can be in keeping you healthy.

Sure, we all know that it can be used to measure heart rate or as a pedometer or counting calories and countless other daily fitness and health uses, but this new invention will take self health to a new level.

Speaking to the folk at, researchers at the University of Washington have created a new app that can be used to flag early indicators of pancreatic cancer.

This particular cancer is one of the deadliest, and most rapidly lethal, primarily because the signals of having the disease aren’t easily apparent.

Tumours in the pancreas can block the liver’s bile duct, which causes a compound to build in our blood, and cause a yellow-ish tint in the eyes, that the human eye can detect.

However, this app can detect it, and while the build-up of this compound (and the yellow-ing of the eyes) isn’t automatically a sure-sign that you have pancreatic cancer, it is a good indicator that you should probably go get a check-up pretty sharpish all the same.

The app, called Biliscreen – named for the compound bilirubin that causes the yellowing – is being presented on 13 September this year, with hopes of fully developing for release soon afterwards.

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